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tv   [untitled]    December 28, 2012 12:00am-12:30am PST

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camera phones out. this is a once in a lifetime photo opportunity. gather around the trophy guys.
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>> don't go anywhere. we have a special surprise. special surprise. you don't want to leave right now everybody. we're going to wrap up our 2012 world championship season very fittinglily. hello, how are you? thank you so much for standing next to me. this is a grand moment in my life. we're going to wrap up today's celebration fittingly enough with a song that you hear after every giants victory at at&t park. ladies and gentlemen his current cd is in stores now. the only and one donny.
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>> (music). "i'm going home to my city by the bay". "i left my heart in san francisco". "i honor him".
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"to be little cable cars, halfway to the stars". "they chill the air". "i don't care". "san francisco" "i come home
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to san francisco". "golden sun will shine on me" . [cheers and applause] >> thank you very much
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>> i want to learn more about it. >> social networking and e-mail. >> i want to know how to use it. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> divisional divide is a divide between those with access to use digital tools and those who don't.
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>> with young people, having computers and i just don't know. they're doing it fast. so, i want to know. >> not knowing how to navigate the internet or at a loss of what to do. >> we don't have a computer. >> we're a nonprofit that unites organizations and volunteers to transform lies through literacy. our big problem right now is the broadband opportunity program. a federally funded project through the department of aging. so, we're working in 26 locations. our volunteers are trained to be tutors and trainers, offering everything from basic classes all the way to genealogy and job search. >> to me computers, knowing how to use it. >> i think it's really important to everybody and possibly especially seniors to get enough of these skills to
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stay in touch. >> it's been fun. with seniors, to get them out of their homes. >> so they can connect with their family members. or their family members. >> [speaking in spanish]. >> so, what we focus on is transferring skills from volunteer to learner to help them get onto facebook, find housing in crisis, be able to connect with friends and family. >> i decided to teach what i learn and it made me want to give back.
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i discovered that seniors do a lot of review. >> i am a beginner, so, little by little i learn. i learn a lot now. >> if you get the basics, you can learn it. it's simple. it's easy. once you know it. and that's what i want to learn, how to make my life easier and more knowledgeable with the computer. >> so, what we need right now are more people who speak languages other than english or in addition to english who can give their time during the day and who care deeply ideally about helping to close the divide. >> it's a humbling experience. it's something simple to ask in our daily life, but to someone that doesn't know and to help somebody gain that experience in any way is awesome.
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>> [speaking in spanish]. >> no matter how tired or cranky or whatever i might feel, when i walk into this place i always walk out feeling great. >> if you feel comfortable using computers and you have patience, we want you on our team. >> would you show me how to type? >> [speaking in spanish]. >> will you help me learn more? >> the annual celebration of
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hardly strictly bluegrass is always a hit now completing itself 12 year of music in the incredible golden gate park. >> this is just the best park to come to. it's safe. it's wonderful and such a fun time of the year. there is every kind of music you can imagine and can wander around and go from one stage to another and just have fun. >> 81 bands and six stages and no admission. this is hardly strictly bluegrass. >> i love music and peace. >> i think it represents what is great about the bay area. >> everyone is here for the music and the experience. this is why i live here. >> the culture out here is amazing. it's san francisco. >> this is a legacy of the old warren hel ment and receive necessary funding for ten years after his death.
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>> there is a legacy that started and it's cool and he's done something wonderful for the city and we're all grateful. hopefully we will keep this thing going on for years and years to come.
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. >> good evening and welcome to the san francisco public library. i'm joan jasper and i'm with the department of exhibitions and public programs at the library and i want to welcome you it our program tonight, our incredible evening with playwright and author phillip
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congatongas. this program is in connection with an exhibit, two exhibits, that we have up on the 6th floor. the first one is called if they came for me today, the japanese american internment project, and also we have another exhibition called relocation and resiliency, the japanese american internment in california. and both of those are up on the 6th floor and this is the last week, so if you haven't a chance to see these exhibits yet, we really encourage you to go on up and see them because they will be closing on sunday. we really want to thank community works for bringing the exhibit if they came for me today to the san francisco public library. and here to tell you a little bit more about community works is ruth morgan, so help me welcome ruth morgan. thank you. . >> thank you. i do hope that if you haven't seen the exhibit, you will go up to the skylight gallery and see it.
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the project actually involved over 225 young people who studied the japanese internment through the personal stories of 15 people who were interned or impacted by the internment. and the exhibition highlights the individual stories of each of the japanese americans who came into the classroom, as well as the rich student responses to these stories. the project really gave the students space to make very meaningful connections between the historical event of the japanese internment and contemporary and historical instances of social injustice in america today. but we're here today to meet phillip and chloe, so i want to introduce you to them. phillip also was one of the gracious japanese americans who came into the classroom and told his story. phillip congatonda went to law school and graduated hastings
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law school but never actually practiced law. he became the first chronicler of the japanese american experience and is credited with broadening the japanese -- broadening the definition of theater by bringing jap needs american stories to stages all across the country. he has collaborated with the most diverse american theater venues, from large mainstream houses to the most experimental venues to african american ethnic cally specific theaters reaching extraordinarily diverse audiences. from here to japan, his acclaimed sisters, maximoto premiered in 2005. in the last couple years he worked with camposanto on a fist of roses on male violence
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and an orchestral composition. many of his plays are collected in month more cherry blossoms published by washington press. among his awards are the civil liberties public education fund and lila wallace reader's digest award. phillip is also a respected independent film maker whose film recently premiered at sundance, but we're here to talk about his upcoming production, after the war. a jazz-infused drama set in post-war san francisco japan town in 1948 which chronicles the return of japanese americans into the internment -- from the internment camp.
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sharing this evening is chloe veltman. chloe was born in london and received a master's degree with distinction in conjunction with harvard university and the moscow art theater school. she has worked as a staff reporter for the daily telegraph and is a freelance writer, her articles appearing on both sides of the atlantic. she is the chief theater critic for the san francisco weekly, theater commentator for klaw. chloe worked for several years in u.s. and uk theater companies and is the recipient of the allen wright award for arts journalism, the sundance institute arts fellowship and the nea fellowship of journalism. in 2006, she received a best
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columnist nomination at the annual san francisco media excellence awards and her first book on acting was published by farber and farber in the uk and farber, inc., in the united states. let's welcome phillip and chloe >> hi there, phillip. >> hi, chloe >> so, this play, it's been quite a journey. we're talking 3 1/2 years, maybe nearly 50 different drafts and 5 workshops? . >> five workshops, yes. >> so, looking back at the journey, how has it been for you and has it come out as you expected it would? . >> what's interesting is if you work on a play this long,
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normally there are times that it becomes redundant and you get a little bored with the piece. it's only natural. it's pushing 4 years now. this one was interesting in that it never got boring or ever felt redundant and each thing that we did over these almost 4 years, whether it was going off to sundance or to writer's retreat they have in sheritan, wyoming -- is that where you went? . >> that was in utah and la as well, down there at the institute. >> they have another writer's retreat in sheritan, wyoming, so i spent time out there and we workshoped this in san francisco, we have done readings at the asia society in new york. each time we did a workshop, each time we did a reading, it moved the piece forward. i think in large part it has to
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do with working with cary pearloff, the director, but she is also an excellent dramator. she worked closely with me in terms of the writing of the material so as we went along, we were able to shape the piece as well as figure out how to stage it. it's an interesting piece in that i wrote it with a number of small themes and the choice is you either present it like a doll house, or rear view window where you have kind of a cut out and you kind of jump from one room to another, or -- and this was my preference -- to develop some kind of cinematic approach to allow for there to be a fluidity in all these separate scenes. so cary and the scenic designic, donna eastman, as well as the lighting designer
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jim ingles developed this idea of a turn table which would turn and allow the audience to see primary locations but see beyond that through the set secondary and tertiary types of scenes as opposed to being very boxy. so in the writing of the piece, all of this is taken into consideration while it was being developed, how we were going to stage it. over that period of 3 1/2 to 4 years, the piece got tighter, stronger, we worked with a variety of actors that came and went which in this particular case was very important because the material deals with people from a lot of different backgrounds and my own background is japanese american, there are two cake ters who are japanese american, three, rather, but there are african american characters, there's a russian jew by way of
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yokohama and i don't necessarily have those backgrounds. so in the workshop process, what it allows me to do to work with actors, particularly some of the african american characters, i can work with them to make sure the characters i am developing have a authentic, you know, authenticity to them and that they are from the inside out as opposed to sort of working from the outside in. so, for me, those kinds of things are critical so i spent a great deal of time making sure that the characters that were wrought that you will ultimately see on stage are truthful, are grounded in real life. so over this period of 3 1/2 to 4 years it was time well spent and it continues to be developed even as we speak. i'm going to go home and do some more rewriting after this. so it's still being worked on.
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>> so let's talk a little bit about the inspiration for the play. i mean, i've seen from reading different things about you that your productions or your plays have been inspired by very diverse things. for example, there's a play you are developing right now for the asian american company which is based on the asian children's book the five chinese brothers, a play called four chinks and a dike. there's also the dream of kitsumura which was inspired by a dream you had about your father. this play, way back, before it became this play was an adaptation of the 1954 play rashamon. how did you get from rashamon
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to this. >> the original idea was that i was going to do an adapt daition of rashamon. cary pearloff said you want to do a play for us, how about adapting rashamon. i said, sure. as is the case when i do this, sometimes i go in a straight line and sometimes i end up somewhere totally different. i've grown to accept it, that i'm going to follow the horse wherever it goes and hope that the theater is comfortable with it. so it started off as rashamon and i couldn't find an entree into it. for me, when i do an adaptation, i try to frame it in present day life context or
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contextualize it in another moment and bring that skeletal story line structure into it. and i couldn't make any headway. then a story that had been kind of floating around in my head kind of came to the fore, and is as the case when i write, there will be story lines floating around in my head for years, years and years are floating around in my head waiting for a moment to find its moment. and this story that i had been working on off and on about this boarding house in san francisco post internment camps. as i worked on this rashamon story, this other one came alive and they began to meld and they wrote themselves and became after the war. so when you see the play, you will see elements of rashamon in the play, but you will have to look very closely.
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and to cary pearloffs and scp's credit, they were very cool about it, which is the neat thing about working in theater as opposed to film. they said fine, let's go with this, let's run with it. once they were comfortable with it we continued to work on it for 3 1/2, 4 years now. >> so the play takes -- this play that you have now written, that has developed from that seed idea, takes its theme japanese internment camps and what happened to someone who had been in internment camps. >> uh-huh. >> this character had not only been sent there, the central character in the play, but also he had said he wasn't going to fight in the war. perhaps you'd like to talk a little bit about the theme of the play, but also the theme of the internment camp is something you visited quite a bit in your writing, phillip.
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in matsumoto and also in the collaboration with ken suganoff but i know this is a theme you come back to time and time again. >> if you are japanese american, it's one of those things that is just a part of your body. that's there no matter where you look or how fast you run or if you embrace it, it's simply there. i was born post-war, post internment camps in the 50's. and though it wasn't something that was talked about a lot at the time i was growing up, it certainly was always there and as i grew older and i began to write and i began to write about stories of my family, i began to realize that that particular historical moment, because it affected en masse the whole community, all of stockton the whole japanese
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american community was uprooted and eventually ended up in arkansas. if you live in a community that's been through that, there is a common thread that runs through the psyche, the behavior of that community whether you talk about it or not. that's the community i grew up in. as i grew older in the late 60's when this whole movement began to sort of remember the event where, quote, the younger sons went back to the neisei and said let's talk about this. i happened to be around that time and participated in that particular critical movement when this whole concept of asian america came about where there was an acknowledgement that these kinds of stories are important, they haven't been told and we should tell them. so, for me, it's a time when